Simply because Congress controls the purse strings for the government budget. Members of Congress are on track to receive a pay raise in 2013, unless they vote against it when they return from August recess. The maximum pay boost lawmakers are eligible for in 2013 is 1.1 percent, or about $1,900 for most. The 1989 Ethics Reform Act created the current formula, which is based on changes in private sector wages as measured by the Employment Cost Index, and automatically takes effect unless Congress votes against it, or it’s more than the pay raise given to federal workers. Many congressional watchdogs expect the Congress to vote against a pay raise for 2013, as they have (surprisingly) done since 2009.
|Government cuts must start at the top|
REDUCE THE SIZE AND COST OF GOVERNMENT
We could save money in government by reducing the size of the House and Senate by 50%, cutting their pay in half, reducing their staff by half, restricting those who "serve" to two terms, placing them into the Social Security system, postpone any lifetime benefits until those elected officials reach retirement age, and reduce retirement payments to 20% of their last full-year Congressional salary.
FLAT TAX MAKES SENSE AND IS FAIR
We could also go to an across-the-board FLAT TAX rate for workers and corporations. Since our taxes are now (and have been for several years) calculated by computers, reduce the size of the IRS by 90%. The numbers of those computers could be reduced to two, and established in locations like Utah, for the west-central and western US, and Arkansas for the east-central and eastern US. The computers would each be maintained by crews of 12 technicians and one supervising engineer, and operationally monitored by teams of 6 operators.
REALITY STRIKES AGAIN
However, to be politically realistic, because those who would be most affected by the cuts are those who MAKE the laws regarding said appropriations, it will never happen... UNLESS such possibilities are put forward as a public referendum. Perhaps we need a movement to remove that right from Congress and place all Congressional compensation packages before the public referendum!